A personal health budget represents the funding to meet an individual’s health and wellbeing needs – it is not ‘new’ money, but existing funding used differently. Personal health budgets can take different forms: notional budgets, third party arrangements and direct payments and in some instances combinations of the three. Personal health budgets are as a result of government proposals to increase ‘personalised care’. They are not intended to reduce healthcare costs nor do they represent any reduction in service for patients.
Personal health budgets are offered to those adults and children who are living in the community (i.e. not in a residential or nursing home) and are eligible for NHS continuing healthcare those people who receive support from the Wheelchair Service or the Community Learning Disability Service.
All personal health budgets are underpinned by a personalised care plan (otherwise known as a Support Plan), which is produced jointly between the patient and their family or carers and a health professional. In Camden these plans will be co-produced and signed-off by the relevant service and in the case of NHS Continuing Healthcare a nurse who currently case manages that client would be involved in the process. The Support Plan will eventually replace existing care plans thereby moving the focus of care provision to a co-produced piece of work with the client and their family rather than directed by the clinician.
There are regulations in place which set out what direct payments cannot be spent on (including tobacco, gambling, alcohol, debt repayment, emergency care and core GP services). The Council’s systems will be used to make and monitor direct payments if this is the option that is chosen. Whichever type of personal health budget is chosen, the expenditure is monitored by the council and areas of concern raised with the responsible commissioner within Camden CCG.
Personalised Health Budgets will be the default delivery model for NHS Continuing Healthcare funded home care by April 2019 and any patient/client has the right to request a personalised health budget already, should they qualify for funding in any of the above services mentioned.
Should you have any queries please email Varda Lassman (Clinical Lead for NHS Continuing Care in Camden).